Me and My Career – Tom, Operating Department Practitioner

Thomas Hood - Operating Department Practitioner

This is the third instalment of a new feature where we shine the spotlight on different careers at NLaG. We hope that it will be a source of inspiration for people looking to start a new career as well as a celebration of the hard work of our employees and the variety of careers available in the NHS.

This month we spoke to Tom, an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP).

What qualifications/ experience do you need to do your role?

ODP is a protected job title under the Health Professions Order, and as such we are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC): to gain registration, you need to complete a BSc in Operating Department Practice. Historically, there have been DipHE, NVQ, and City & Guilds qualifications; but these have all been retired. Experience is not necessary to become an ODP, but it is an excellent opportunity for HCAs with an interest in surgery and critical care to develop in to. We work alongside surgeons, anaesthetists, and other clinicians to provide patient care in all operative and critical care settings: you can see us everywhere from A&E Resus, to Maternity.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

What I enjoy most is the variety: one day you could be scrubbed up assisting with a major operation, the next you can be transferring a critically ill patient via ambulance. Then, you could be helping in a caesarian section delivery. You get to meet everybody from newborns to centenarians, and you have a great deal of autonomy in your practice.

What advice would you give to someone looking to join in a similar role?

My advice to anyone wanting to become an ODP is to come find us in theatres. Ask about the role. If you like problem solving, thinking on your feet, and working independently as part of a wider team; we are the role for you!